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HPB (Oxford). 2004;6(2):99-105. doi: 10.1080/13651820310020792.

Living donor liver transplantation: issues regarding left liver grafts.

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  • 1First Department of Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Asahi 3-1-1, Matsumoto, 390-8621 Japan.



The necessity of widening the indications for living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has been emphasised. Clarification of the advantages and limitations of using a left liver graft for LDLT in adults is essential for donor safety.


Between June 1990 and November 2002, 185 patients underwent LDLT at Shinshu University Hospital, Japan. In 97 of these, the graft comprised the left liver with or without the left portion of the caudate lobe. The peri-hepatectomy profiles of the donors, significance of left liver grafts, postoperative courses of the donors and recipients, and survival of the recipients were investigated.


All the donors recovered well and returned to a normal lifestyle. None required banked-blood transfusion or repeat surgery, and postoperative liver function tests had satisfactory results. The cold ischaemic time for the graft was 127+/-54 minutes. The graft volumes (GVs) ranged from 230 to 625 ml, and GV/standard liver volume (SV) ratios varied from 22% to 65%, at the time of transplantation. Although 85% of the liver grafts had GV/SV ratios <50%, no patient developed immediate postoperative liver failure. Patient survival rates were 89%, 84% and 84% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively.


Although LDLT using a left liver graft imposes potential postoperative complications (a small liver is more vulnerable to injury, and recipients of small grafts are at higher risk of complications during recovery), such grafts have yielded acceptable results in adult LDLT, with minimal burden to the donors.

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